The TV Nerd's Take

Cox offers decent budget plans and a full-featured digital cable TV service. However, Verizon Fios has more TV options and significantly better download and upload speeds for similar prices. I’d go with Fios unless you’re attached to a particular Cox TV setup in your home already.

Cox Communications and Verizon Fios are major TV, Internet, and Phone providers with a decent amount of overlap in their service areas. Many people are left with a choice between the two when it comes to service, and it can be difficult to decide which provider will better suit your needs.

Cox Communications offers less expensive prices and better internet coverage, while Fios offers a more premium service with a slightly higher price.

Both services have their pros and cons, and these differences may affect which company is right for you. Let’s jump into it.

Core Comparison
 Cox CommunicationsVerizon Fios
Pricing$19.99$39.99
Average Download Speed46.1676.11
Netflix Ranking67
Major Cities Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, Oklahoma City Brooklyn, Philadelphia, New York, Bronx
States Served 19 States including Arizona, California, Virginia, Louisiana and Nevada 10 States including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland

Cox Communications Pros and Cons

Setup Service
More information on signing up for Cox Cable can be found by calling an agent at (855) 284-1318

Pros

  • Less expensive
  • Better internet coverage
  • Better DVR

Cons

  • Slower internet
  • Fewer TV channels
  • Mixed customer reviews

Cox is generally the more affordable option when it comes to internet and TV service, but it falls behind in terms of speeds, channels, and features. It’s a good option for people on a budget, but fails to deliver the premium service of Fios.

Verizon Fios Pros and Cons

Setup Service
As of this writing, you can skip the call center line and speak to an agent directly by calling (855) 969-4693

Pros

  • Faster Internet
  • Large amount of channels
  • High customer satisfaction

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Less comprehensive DVR
  • Coverage isn’t as wide as with Cox

Fios internet reigns supreme – if you can actually find it in your area. The coverage of Fios is a lot less extensive, which holds it back from completely dominating the internet market. The provider also comes ahead in most areas when it comes to TV service, too.

These premium services come at a price, however, and you’ll find that Fios is generally more expensive than Cox.

Cox Communications vs Verizon Fios Internet performance

It’s helpful to talk about the network infrastructure that each provider features so that it’s easier to understand why internet speeds can vary widely.

Cox Communications, like the majority of high-speed internet providers, uses a cable connection to deliver content. This connection uses the coaxial cable that delivers TV service, and provides speeds that are many times faster than dial-up and DSL.

Verizon Fios, on the other hand, uses a fiber network. Fiber optics are the new gold standard of internet connections, and they deliver content through collections of glass or plastic strands that bounce light back and forth to deliver data. These connections are extremely fast, and outclass cable connections completely.

The drawback to Fiber, however, is how expensive it is to roll out. Verizon’s coverage area is a lot smaller than that of Cox, because it requires laying down a new network rather than using existing cable lines that have been around for years. Generally, Verizon only offers fiber optic connections in a few different areas.

If you can get your hands on fiber, you’ll be experiencing the fastest connection commercially available. As mentioned above, however, the coverage is limited.

Cox Communications
PlanDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Data
Internet Starter511 TB
Internet Essential1521 TB
Internet Preferred 100100101 TB
Internet Ultimate300301 TB
Verizon Fios
PlanDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Data
30 Mbps Fios Internet3030Unlimited
100 Mbps Fios Internet100100Unlimited
150 Mbps Fios Internet150150Unlimited
300 Mbps Fios Internet300300Unlimited

Bundled services

Both providers offer bundles in the form of double, and triple play packages. Cox’s pricing is generally a little more appealing just due to the lower price of the service in general, but both Cox and Verizon heavily incentivize combining multiple aspects of service at once.

If you need both TV and internet service, you’re going to save a lot of money by going with a bundle.

Differences Between Cox and Fios Coverage Areas

Cox Communications vs Verizon Fios TV service

Cox Communications

  • Extensive on-demand library
  • Voice-controlled remote
  • High-capacity DVR
  • Contour Flex offers “streaming” TV option
  • Fully-featured TV guide

Verizon Fios

  • Heavily customizable plans
  • Almost 600 channels with premium plans
  • Watch on-the-go with Fios Mobile
  • Online DVR management
  • Support for HD channels

Verizon Fios offers the more comprehensive TV coverage. While Cox has a better on-demand library and DVR, that doesn’t allow the service to compete with the sheer amount of channels Verizon offers with their high-end plans. People serious about their TV will likely be happier with Verizon’s TV packages.

Sports packages

Cox Communications

  • Cox sports packages offer access to more than 600 live events across a wide variety of sports
  • Enjoy additional individual options like MLB Extra Innings, MLS Direct Kick, NFL Red Zone, and the NBA League Pass.

Verizon Fios

  • Support for leagues like MLB, NFL, NBA, Soccer, and the NH
  • SportsPass features xtreme sports and exclusive coverage of soccer, tennis, Olympic, college, and recreational sports
  • Pick and choose which sports you pay for with generous add-on options.

Which service is better for sports is debatable. Cox offers more coverage with their base plans, but Verizon supports more niche sports with their SportsPass.

The provider best suited for sports fans will largely depend on what you want to watch. Both will cover the basics with zero issues, but you may find more niche offerings with Verizon.

DVR Showdown

Both providers offer the option for multi-room DVRs for an additional fee, but Cox offers more storage with support for 1000 hours of content.

Neither DVR particularly stands out in terms of available features, but the sheer amount of space that Cox provides makes it the winner in this section.

Cox Communications Key Advantage: Lower Pricing and Better Coverage

Cox offers a less comprehensive service at a lower price, and there will always be a market for that. They also serve a wider selection of areas due to the ease of access for cable vs fiber optic connections.

Verizon Fios Key Advantage: Fast Internet and A Lot of Channels

In most cases, Verizon Fios is just flat out better for both TV and internet. If you can find it in your area, you’ll find a better internet connection and a large amount of channel options if you’re willing to pay the price.

Equipment and Installation Considerations

Both providers offer self-installation kits which are generally going to be the more economical option. Professional installation will have a fee associated with it which will vary based on your individual situation and plan.

Both providers offer the ability to purchase your own internet equipment to avoid paying monthly rental fees, but Fios users are highly discouraged from doing so. Fiber optic networks are a lot more complicated, and setting up your own equipment in that situation is best reserved for the knowledgeable techie.

TV Nerd Pick: Fios, for Better Internet and TV

Cox offers a more affordable take on TV and Internet with wider coverage, but if you can find Fios in your area, and are willing to pay a little extra, the investment will more than pay off.

Fios offers faster connections and more channels, which gives it a clear advantage both in TV and Internet service. For a little bit extra a month, you’re truly getting some of the best that modern fiber Internet infrastructure has to offer.

Comments

  • Image of Gustavo Gomez
    Gustavo Gomez says
    04/04/2018

    Interesting. I just spoke with a Cox rep for over two hours and compared my current Verizon Fios Extreme package against what he had to offer.
    Both Cox and Verizon offers hundred of channels, most of them junk, so that was non-issue for us, we concentrated only on the channels that we watch. Both of them have them.
    Currently, I have Verizon’s fiber optic connection (i take Verizon’s word for it) all the way to the ONT box, just outside the house, and from there it is the good old coax cable to the router and to the the DVR. The Cox guy is offering fiber optic all the way in to the DVR and to the router ( I take his word for it). Advantage Cox.
    As for internet. I have the 75/75 Mbts plan from Verizon at an additional $20, Cox plans includes a 100/100 Mbps at no additional cost.Advantage Cox.
    Verizon requires you rent or buy a router from them if you want 100% support, although, in reality you could install your own router but you will be losing some TV services and customer support; on the other hand, Cox will hook straight into my Apple Time Capsule without losing any service and support. Advantage Cox. Verizon has me lock in a 2 year contract with penalties if I break it, Cox does not required a Contract. Advantage Cox.

    Obviously, for me Cox is the answer. However, I need to find the cost of breaking the contract which might be too expensive, although, Cox is offering a $300 Visa card after three months which could offset this cost.

    Extras from Cox at no cost, that may interest some people:
    Free long distance calls to Canada, Mexico and 32 European countries..
    DVR viewing from anywhere in the country where you can find an internet connection. Verizon is or will be offering that service at an extra cost.

    I can not vouch for the quality of Cox’s support, but I can say that Verizon’s support can be excellent at times and yet as awful as one can imagine at other times - be prepare to be on the phone for a while after you have gone through their computerized online support first.

    This is my view on this subject as 4/3/2018.
    Good luck.

    Reply

    1. Image of Adi Marcovich
      Adi Marcovich says
      04/10/2018

      Thanks for the perspective, my friend. If Cox has Fiber to the Home wiring in your area, DEFINITELY go with that. Customer service is iffy with all providers in my experience aside from a few small ones, so I always recommend choosing based on technology. Fiber > coax any day. Please comment back with an update if you get a chance to try both services. I'd love to access some info on Cox's fiber upgrades — high time I updated this post! :)

      Reply

    2. Image of Norman Goswick
      Norman Goswick says
      05/18/2018

      I use to work for Cox. I don't recall them ever having fiber to the house. But times change. I had Cox service for about 20 years. I recently switched to Fios. I cut my bill in half. At least for 2 years under the current contract. When it comes up for renewal I will see who gives me the most bang for my buck. Most companies now will not do much to keep a customer. But they will offer good deals to either get a new customer or get back a previous customer.

      Reply

      1. Image of Adi Marcovich
        Adi Marcovich says
        06/10/2018

        Cox fiber coverage is very small, you're right that most of us are stuck with cable. If Fios is already offering fiber in your area they're almost certainly the better option, unless you're talking "frontier fios" in which case the performance can be hit-or-miss in my experience.

        Reply

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